There are unconfirmed reports of a major battle raging in Saudi Arabia between government troops and al Qaida mujahideen in the town of Al-Raas.
There's a bit more information on the battle at the link.
A CNSNews report tells us of a gathering of about one hundred atheists from California to Connecticut in Philadelphia over Easter weekend to discuss issues of interest to those who call themselves "Godless Americans" and to plan activities to advance their cause. Several items in the report caught our eye. One was a sentence that noted that:
The future of nonbelievers is indeed an interesting theological question about which the New Testament has some disquieting things to say, but we suspect that that's not what those who raised the topic at the conference had in mind. If the conference attendees were concerned about the future of atheism in this world, perhaps they might have gleaned some insight from the fact that their nationwide convocation could have been held around the kitchen table.
The news account also mentioned this observation from Boston University anthropologist David Eller:
Presumably, then, the professor lacks a belief that he has no beliefs, an odd piece of thinking for a university Ph.D. Or maybe not.
Apparently, the exalted rationality of professor Eller has yet to lead him to the realization that if materialism is true then he really has no basis for trusting his reason to lead him to truth. But never mind. There are few sensations more gratifying to an academic than the satisfaction of knowing that one is intellectually superior to one's fellows. We should avert our eyes from professor Eller's unseemly arrogance, acknowledging that the pleasure he derives from flaunting his superior rational gifts doubtless makes the practice of it irresistible for him.
Chuck Colson weighs in on the Intelligent Design/Darwinism debate with an essay in Christianity Today. He notes that:
Darwinians act like medieval clerics whose religion is under attack. The best way to preserve it is to insulate it against scrutiny. They "must not let a divine foot in the door", as Richard Lewontin famously put it. Their worst nightmare is not that natural selection will be unable to withstand careful examination as a mechanism of change, but rather that the metaphysical underpinnings of Darwinism, the dogma, for instance, that natural processes are by themselves sufficient to explain the origin and diversification of life, will dissolve in a trice once they are immersed in the acids of free inquiry.
The Darwinians are not defending their science. Indeed, it is not their science that is in question. It is the philosophical assumptions of atheistic materialism that are woven into their science that they strive to defend, and they know that, if they allow students to examine the philosophical alternatives, materialism will suffer in the comparison. No one wants to see his religion discredited, especially when, like the Darwinians, they've invested their entire professional lives in its credibility, and so they fight like desperate zealots to prevent our public schools from exposing young people to the challenges that Intelligent Design presents. Don't question, just believe is the Darwinian mantra, a mantra suitable for fundamentalist mullahs and others who fear the consequences of free and open inquiry.
Check out the rest of what Colson says at the Christianity Today site.
In the days leading up to the death of Terri Schiavo some commentators made much of polls which showed that those who believed that the feeding tubes should never have been removed were grossly out of step with the consensus in America. As a sociological matter the polls were not without interest, but as a means of providing moral guidance they were irrelevant. Right and wrong are not matters to be settled by consulting popular opinion polls.
Even so, it turns out that those who supported Terri's parents in their wish to keep her alive were not at variance with popular opinion after all, a fact which goes some distance toward restoring our confidence in the moral wisdom of the American people.
A Zogby poll asks this question:
Another question asked:
There's more on the results of the Zogby poll at the link.